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Contact: Katie Lawhon, (717) 338-4402
Gettysburg, Pa. (September 5, 2016) –Gettysburg National Military Park fire managers are preparing for prescribed fires on September 7 and 8, weather permitting. The plan calls for burning 8 acres at the Triangular Field near Devil's Den on September 7, followed by a prescribed fire on 14 acres at Pardee Field on Culp's Hill on September 8. Fuel and weather conditions must be within certain parameters and that will determine the exact dates of the fire.
Prescribed fires allow fire managers to conduct a safe burn under optimal conditions with sufficient resources available to meet specific objectives for the management of battlefield resources. Gettysburg's overall objectives are to maintain the conditions of the battlefield as experienced by the soldiers who fought here;perpetuate the open space character of the landscape;maintain wildlife habitat, control invasive exotic species;reduce shrub and woody species components, and reduce fuels in wooded areas to reduce fire hazard.
During the prescribed fire at Pardee Field, Geary, Slocum, East Confederate, and Colgrove Avenues will be temporarily closed, mainly in the afternoon. During the prescribed fire at Triangular Field, part of Sickles Avenue and the Devil's Den parking area will be closed from mid-morning through the afternoon. Additional roads and trails may need to close temporarily if smoke conditions reduce visibility to a level that would require a temporary closure of limited areas to ensure public and firefighter safety. Up-to-date information on this and any other closures and fire activity will be posted on the park's social media sites.
The timing of the two prescribed fires are dependent on conditions being within required weather parameters such as wind, temperature, and relative humidity. The prescribed fires will be conducted from approximately late morning through the afternoon, followed by patrol and monitoring to ensure the fire is completely out.
A combination of lawn, sprinklers, hoses, mowed lines, and a fire engine will be used to create a buffer and fire break to protect monuments and other cultural resources including identified witness trees in the burn area. National Park Service staff will monitor air quality and smoke impacts as well as visibility on nearby roads.
For more information including a map of the project area, and the park's Environmental Assessment/Fire Management Plan can be viewed on the park website,www.nps.gov/gett.
Gettysburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history.